My 15 year old son and I summitted at 8:00 am in 60 mph+ winds and VERY cold. We were woefully unprepared for the cold, wearing only hiking pants, t-shirts and fleece. The cold wind dried out my eyes by the time we made the summit, and I was practically blind coming back down. Many people after us turned around because of the wind, even after completing the trough.
Training hike for a summit attempt on Rainier in August. Great scramble. Met lots of great people. My first fourteener.
Yesterday I did Longs Peak., It took me 2 hours and 49 minutes to reach the summit. My start time was 7:05 A.M. I made it to the top at 9:54 A.M. Going up the trough, two teenaged boys asked how fast I was going. They remarked that they had started at 4:30 and one of them called me a "machine". Also, I passed a trail "runner" (or so he claimed himself to be one), who said "I can tell by looking at you that you're not going to make it". Not only did I beat him up Longs, but then I proceeded to summit both Estes Cone and Twin Sisters (so "ha!") The total hike was 29 miles with a 9,500-foot elevation gain. I am pleased with the support I got from many people, including a family from northern Va. and a father and son from North Platte, Neb. As I came down Twin Sisters, one twelve (13?)-year old kid said "you know what....you're crazy." Thinking "hey, I haven't heard that one today", I told him thank you and that I'd take the remark as a compliment. When I got to the Lily Lake Vis. Ctr., it was 6:35P.M. I was proud of my accomplishment and felt a little better about the rough week I had been having.I even had the energy to go to the pub with friends from the Czech Republic.
July 20, 2002 my friend and I made our second attempt at Long’s Peak. Last year we were weathered out at the Keyhole. It had become my obsession to finally climb the mountain. After a quick word of prayer we started our trek up the Mt. at 2:30 in the morning. The weather report was favorable and said the thunderheads would not form until about 3-4:00 in the afternoon. Using our lamps we made it to the Boulder Filed in about 2:45. We rested for about 5 minutes at the Keyhole and proceeded through. Now we were entering uncharted territory. The Ledges were not nearly as tough as I had imagined. There was exposure, but no real danger as long as you were just watching what you are doing. It was at the Trough that I began to feel some cramping in my left hamstring. I had been drinking plenty of water, but did not realize how much I was expelling due to sweat. We stopped for about 5 minutes in the middle of the climb up the Trough and I ate some cheese and nuts. I also drank about 8 oz. of orange juice and 20 oz of water. I prayed again asking that the Lord would not let me come this far to have been stopped by something like a cramp. After the short rest we continued and there were no problems the rest of the day. Praise the Lord! The Narrows and Home Stretch were quite interesting. Neither was as bad as I had imagined. The summit was ours! What a feeling to have finally conquered the “Peak.” It is as beautiful as they say. There was not a cloud in the sky except for the smoke raging from Elk Mt. Fire. It was our return trip that was the challenge. After clearing the Home Stretch going down we saw two other fellows coming from a different route on their way up. After chatting with them we chose to return the way they had come and do the loop through the Notch and up the Loft. That was very hard climbing! Some possible class 4. Much loose scree and big rocks. They said it was only about 600 ft. through the Loft, but it seemed like a mile. We topped out at the saddle between Long's and Meeker and proceeded down to Lake Chasm. Clouds had started forming and we heard our first thunder at the top of the Loft. We picked up the pace! The trail was now much easier. Now back on the main trail, it seemed like forever, getting back to the trailhead. It took 10:15 to do the whole trip even counting the 30 minutes we spent on the top of the Peak. All in all it was a WONDERFUL day!
Took off at 2AM and took 14 hours roundtrip moving at a moderate slog pace. I had just arrived in Colorado the afternoon before and a few hours later I was climbing- so had no acclimatization time. No significant weather encounted, just some light rain and hail on descent, but I was approaching treeline at that point so it wasnt a real threat. Overall a really fun climb. Got to boulderfield around sunrise, left climbing poles at keyhole hut and picked up on the way back( they are useless between keyhole and summit) followed the bullseyes through the trough. ( No snow in trough- a very dry season). Popped up Homestretch and enjoyed the view from the massive summit. Made summit at 9:30 AM and was able to get lower before afternoon storms. I think this is a good climb for self evaluation... I saw some people quit at narrows and others quit at homestretch because it was too difficult for them or exposure fear. I felt it was a long challenge but not dangerous or scary if you were careful- but I would not want to be coming down Homestretch when it is wet and slick.
What an amazing mountain! I arrived at the summit at 6:45 where I enjoyed about 10 minutes of solitude and near complete silence. I sat on the large stone block just adjacent to the summit sign. There was not even a breath of wind and all I heard other than my own heart beat was a high-altitude bee that buzzed by my left ear and then disappeared. What a remarkable climb and experience. (BTW - Not a trace of snow in the Trough.)
I left way to early (2AM). The Boulder Field was not much fun in the dark, couldn't tell where I was going, just kept heading up. After the Keyhole, I could see and the scramble was fun. The Trough was full of hard snow that I couldn't seem to avoid, so I was glad that I brought an axe. Huge summit with no one else there. I passed about 10 or so people on the way down. Great trip that I highly recommend.
Climbed again in August 2004 by the Ridge Route. We climbed it in seven pitches, only two were sketchy at all (5.5-5.6). Fun stuff!
Long's was fun. Bit of a disappointment though... only took 10 hours... a bit less really, and not as hard as I was expecting... thought best case, maybe 12 hours... probably 15... worst case 19). Did have a little head ache @ the top, but no altitude sickness (two advil took care of it). Did drink about 110 oz's of water by the time I summited though... not unusual for me to drink so much. Plus they say altitude sickness is really more a case of dehydration. Thank heavens for that water filter on the way down. I had read a couple of books... I was very well prepared. I stayed fueled too... 100 to 200 calories every hour. I usually feel good when I do that.
I forgot gloves, and as I was on my 5 points of contact most of the way down off the top, I could have used them. Did not need sunglasses... did not wear them.... nor sun screen, but I didn't stay up there long either... only 1/2 hour. Took several pictures. Very beautiful. Wore heavy weight running tights... a full length running bra, a short sleeve T-shirt, a long sleeve T-shirt and a jacket... I only took off the jacket and the long sleeve T-shirt for a short time. All micro fiber stuff. Ensure your jacket is hooded... the hail on the way down pelted the back of my neck.
Started @ 0420 (later than I wanted). It took me 4 hours to get to the key hole... took a lot of pics on the way up. Sunrise was gorgeous. Like the books say, the hike is really two hikes... to the keyhole and then after the key hole. Took me four hours to get to the keyhole and then two hours to get from the key hole to the top... went fairly slow as I found some one to go with and was a little spooked about going alone. Then about an hour to get back down to the key hole. The hardest part is the trough (loose gravel and rocks). The easiest part is the home stretch (but you spend a lot of time on your butt on the way down). And the narrows are the scariest (but very short section really). You'll see. Ran the last three miles or so.... lost my jacket on top (was tied loosely to my back). Started to hail (hard but small) @ 1300.... then rained pretty hard... was very cold with no jacket (only day of rain in the whole month I think... go figure). Made it to the bottom by about 1415. The run was the best part... felt like a deer! Was pretty high from making it to the summit so easily, so the run was already adrenaline full... really felt awesome. Saw a ton of Elk.... even heard them trumpet or whatever its called. Very cool! Spent a lot of time just hiking around in Estes Park before and after the Long's Peak Experience... you must do that... some beautiful trails there (though quite crowded). Bought the T-Shirt. You have to buy the T-Shirt! Can't wait to do more climbing... hopefully more technical stuff.
This peak was the second 14er of my carreer. I climbed it with a girlfriend long before I made it to the top of Whitney. We were the only ones up there - wow!
Sorry for the late entry here since I did this so long ago, but as I was filling in summit logs for some other 14ers I did recently, I thought I'd chime in and 'virtually bag' this one as well. Longs was the toughest 14er I did, but mostly because I had a cold that day. We started around 6:45 and summitted at 14:30. The boulder field killed me. Walking around Lady Washington at 13,000+ feet for so long drained all my energy.
Then we got through the Keyhole and the weather turned on us. Howling winds of over 30 mph, cold temps and drizzling with thunder in the distance. We decided to press on since there was no lightning near us. Fortunately, the weather stayed away, and we were able to summit. My least favorite part was the trough. Going down it and knowing you have to regain all that elevation was not pleasant, and I was in no mood for it.
But my spirits all changed when we reached summit. My headache went away and I was able to breathe again. I wished we could've taken a different path down, retracing the steps got boring really quick.
All in all, I was very pleased to be able to get to the summit on my first try. I've heard some horror stories of people being turned back by weather. We were very lucky indeed.
First "alpine" ascent.
Got on trail at 3:15am and reached the summit of Meeker via the lambslide couloir. Then we proceded to follow Clarks arrow to the homestrech on to the summit of Longs. Came down the keyhole route and made it back to the car 15 hours later. As if Longs isn't enough on it's own we threw in Meeker(13,911) and made for a very long challenging day. The weather was ideal and we had no problems with the exception of exaustion. Longs is an amazing mountain and I know that I will return to try another more technical route in the future. Anyone considering this mountain be aware that it is a serious mountain and is not in any way good for the inexperienced.
Took two kids up their first 14er. We got a late start and it started snowing in the Trough, but we continued. Half way up the Homestretch with lightning hitting the summit at two minute intervals, we decided it would be prudent to turn around. The good news is we had the whole mountain to ourselves :-) Photos.
Climbed solo from Chasm Lake over Lady Washington, then a nice direct route up class 3 slabs, not hard except for one 5.4 move, a chest high overhang where you have to lunge over and grab into a crack. Descended the Keyhole in wet blowing snow, much harder than the climb. Lost feeling in 4 fingertips for 2 months. 10 hours car to car.
Climbed Longs Peak on a beautiful day in fall with my friend Chuck
Cables Route is fantastic. For any experienced climber, it gives a quicker and, in my opinion, better way to the top than the Keyhole route. Rock fall danger only when lots of other climbers there. Best route for early summer. We roped up (rated 5.4), but found the rope pretty useless - though above the technical stuff, there were dicey moments if you lost the route. Casual Route was scary as hell for a climber of my ability - summited at 4:45 PM, way too late. Very commiting climb, but easiest one on the Diamond. Descended Cables Route, which was sopping wet and the descent to Chasm View was miserable, but better than a Keyhole descent. (posted: April 2002)
edit (Sept 2008): I've since been back many times, climbing Keplinger's Couloir, Keyhole once or twice, Casual Route again, Cables Route again, and Pervertical Sanctuary (also on the Diamond).
Left at 1 a.m. reached the keyhole by sunrise. Banged my knee up pretty severely just below tree line falling on a slick wood bridge crossing a mountain stream. The crowds weren't too bad and those that were there gave me the encouragement to keep going through the pain. I had to quit at the trough though because my leg wouldn't support my weight. I decided to err on the side of safety and call it a day just an hour or so from the summit. I will be returning though to get this peak on a winter ascent in December
First my girlfriend (See Snake Dike trip report) dumps me, next I take a 40foot fall rock climbing at Vantage WA, leaving my arm in a cast for the summer. Third, I decide since I'm now solo and can't rock climb, it's time to bag some summits, so off to Colorado.
Longs Peak was the first CO peak I tried. After sitting on the couch for 2 weeks nursing my emotional and physical wounds, this was sure a wake-up call. The other 14ers I tried were easy after Longs. What a fat mountain.
Very Nice! My first roped alpine experience.
Beautiful day and lots of 4th of July Summiter's at the top.
Went back in 2001 for Keyhole Ridge and rapped down Cables. I love this mountain! Casual Route - Here I come!!
I enjoyed every minute of the climb except for the mass crowds. Climb this one during the week for sure if you are heading up in peak season (summer). Be extra careful during the trough portion not to launch off any rocks to the people below.
I am surprised there are not more accidents from rock fall during the scrambling portion while you are in the trough.